Zoë Blade's notebook

Language Translator

Language Translator tech specs

The Language Translator (renamed to the Language Tutor the next year) was a translator released by Texas Instruments in 1979.

Like their earlier Speak & Spell toy, it contained a speech synthesiser, making it inadvertently useful to electronic musicians who wanted a then-futurist angle to their vocals. Unlike the Speak & Spell, it has a much larger vocabulary, and is even multilingual.

Kraftwerk seem to have used this on Computer World's title tracks, providing many of their distinctive vocals. It also provides the various beeps used in "Pocket Calculator". Indeed, these worldly business-themed songs seem to have been written around the limitations of the Language Translator's similarly business-oriented vocabulary.

Notable users


  1. "TI Language Translator" Datamath Calculator Museum
  2. "Business. Numbers. Money. People. Time. Travel. Communication. Entertainment." "Computer World" Kraftwerk, Computer World, 1981
  3. "Pocket Calculator" Kraftwerk, Computer World, 1981
    Note: Pocket Calculator uses the Language Translator's beeps and its distinctive boing.
  4. "One, two. Un, deux, trois. Uno, dos, cuatro." "Numbers" Kraftwerk, Computer World, 1981
  5. "One, two." "Computer World 2" Kraftwerk, Computer World, 1981

Hardware speech synthesisers: Language Translator | Speak & Spell

Texas Instruments: Language Translator | Speak & Spell